Summary: Our calling should we choose to accept it... Played off the Mission Impossible theme.
I received a letter in the mail this week addressed to the congregation, and it came with instructions that I was not to open it until just before I began preaching. Well I guess its time to see what it says.
Read Top Secret Letter—Ignite Letter—Start Mission Impossible theme song **the letter is to be written on "flash paper" available at any majic shoppe. It ignites and burns very quickly and leaves nothing behind. Very cool effect.
It would seem that we have been given our instructions. Now we must figure out what to do. Too many times in our lives have we gotten to this point and stopped. To often the mission has been given and the theme music played and the mission does not get accomplished.
I do not believe it is because people don’t love God and simply refuse to minister to others. I think the reason is that we simply don’t know where to start. We don’t know what to do. We don’t know what it means for us to minister.
“Ministry is something that only trained professionals do. How could I possibly minister?”
What we need to do is return to our roots, our heritage, and our calling. Calling sounds too lofty, so lets make it our mission.
So here it is; we need to be active parts in the Body of Christ. It occurred to me this week that with the Mission Impossible shows the characters never acted alone. They always helped each other accomplish the goal, many served in supporting roles while others were out front but all were part of the Mission Impossible Team.
15 If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many members, yet one body.
Biology Class dummy
I love this imagery of the body parts. Whenever I read this passage I am reminded of the plastic display that my biology teacher used to help us understand the human body and all of its organs. You could easily remove any of the parts from the body look at them and place them back in.
Metaphor is difficult to apply.
But, sometimes even this imagery fails us because we have trouble applying it to our lives. We love the metaphor and the imagery of the passage, but what does it really mean to be an eye in the body of Christ? What does it mean to be an ear, foot, or kidney?
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians some concrete ideas for what the body of Christ means.
Body of Christ Parts
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. 14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.
These are but some of the gifts of the spirit, and it is by using those gifts in our lives that we begin to work as a team to accomplish the mission. What often happens is that we don’t even know that we have these gifts and so we don’t know what to do. We simply become frustrated and confused and so we give up, not knowing which way to go or what to do.
Paul also gives to us more gifts of the Holy Spirit that we are given.
Not everyone has the same job
4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6 We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7 ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8 the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.